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Someone MUST know
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aliendezines
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Apr 14, 2003, 05:50 PM
 
What causes freezing issues....

Someone HAS to know in here why my Mac keeps freezing. ALL the time! At Random.
Finder unexpectedly quits.. what's up with that too?

I've posted before about freezing issues but I'm not getting any responses. I'm assuming no one has any inclinition?
Can anyone give me atleast a few reasons why, atleast something to point me in the right direction?

OS 9
Beige G4
400MHZ
256 Ram
20 gig hd
Networked
Virutal Memory MAXED out (another error too with "not enough memory")

PLEASE HELP!!!
( Last edited by aliendezines; Apr 14, 2003 at 05:58 PM. )
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Jazzphone
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Apr 14, 2003, 06:02 PM
 
upgrade to osx...
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 14, 2003, 06:32 PM
 
nice answer! Very professional...

And for my response to that? Don't answer if you DON'T know.

We CAN'T upgrade unless you want to fund us the money to upgrade 10 computers (that probably wouldn't handle the upgrade anyway). We have to use what we have.
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Zoom
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Apr 14, 2003, 06:48 PM
 
If you expect anyone to be able to solve your problem with the information given, you're not being realistic. "Upgrade to OS X" is a valid option, certainly given the problem description.

Debugging crashes is an art. The first question is: what have you changed recently? Or is this problem something that has been going on for a long time? Did this behavior suddenly come on? Or is it getting worse? What are you doing when the system crashes? Is it the same application every time? Does it happen with internet apps (very common)? Have you tried reverting to a set of known good extensions? Have you made any hardware tweaks, like overclocking the CPU? What sort of peripherals do you have? What rev of OS 9 do you have? Can you upgrade to the absolute latest version? What error messages are you getting?

You need to give us more info if you want a helpful answer.
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 14, 2003, 07:07 PM
 
Upgrading is NOT an option for our company. We just broke out of the "red" last year and cannot put anymore doe into upgrading.

As for the problems. all of them are UNexpected freezes. Mouse just STOPS. no error messages.

Happens at random
A few of today's instances..
9am start up, launch outlook, launch quark... open doc in quark FREEZE! REBOOT

9:15 start over.. launch outlook, launch quark, open doc ( a different doc since the one I crashed on is "locked"), manage to work on doc.. go to print FREEZE! Mouse stops. REBOOT!

AGAIN, different app... Photoshop. Froze on scanning. REBOOT!

Let's see... Graphics not showing up in documents (they're there, just can't SEE them) - they show up on print out tho.

launch apps again, go to desktop to do a find... Finder unexpectedly quits, you should save all documents and restart. So I do.

Finder quit about 3 times during the day... I froze about 20 times during the day. It's all at random. Different documents.

Ran Norton's latest and greatest. Norton could not complete File Checking due to unknown error and to try again. Tried 3 times. I trashed memory preferences. REbuilt desktop, defragged... I don't go on internet unless I need a logo from a company.

This was my day today.. and these are just a FEW instances. I'm logging everything that happens now because we're sick of it. And it's not just my mac.

This has been going on since I've been there... 3 years. The computer I'm using has not been touched (about a year 1/2 old). The only upgrade to it was adding another stick of memory. Has not resolved anything.
As for tweaking stuff, I won't go there. It's bad enough I can't figure out the freezing issues.
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wwworry
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Apr 14, 2003, 07:36 PM
 
it could be bad memory
a bad usb cord - check that they are not fryed or cracked
palm software
try turning off as many extensions as you can
it could be the graphic card overheating (this just happened to me - the fan on it went bad and it killed OS X too)
     
gururafiki
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Apr 14, 2003, 07:49 PM
 
try reinstalling everything from scratch (ie erase the hard disk and start over).

Does the mac have a test hardware disk that you can run (i know the new macs do, but I can't remember about older ones).

I've read that norton is not the best disk utility for finding/fixing problems. If you can get diskwarrior or drive 10 for disk utility stuff.
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 14, 2003, 08:10 PM
 
A BIG thank you for these leads... that's all I wanted.

I'm gonna lean towards the graphics card and see what we can do about that. Systems seem to point in that direction with probs I didn't mention in prior post.
As or palm, don't use it. USB's are fine. Only have 1 anyway which is keyboard.

I'm at the bare minimum for Extensions. Well, turned off needless ones such as speech, DVD player etc.

I can't tell you how hard this is for me. I'm a PC user (raised on a MAC) but have found troublshooting PC's is SOO much easier. ATleast you get error msgs (blue screen)and system logs with ID codes etc., which can point you in a direction. MAC's no blue screen and it's anybodies guess. That's where the frustration lies.

Sorry for my impatience, but I left work livid from mac problems all day! I hope some of these leads will help.
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Zoom
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Apr 14, 2003, 08:14 PM
 
Dude, that's nuts. You're telling me that all of your Macs are doing this and have been doing this for years?? I'm having a little trouble swallowing this. Any chance you're exaggerating a bit here? If all these machines are exhibiting this behavior, then the problem is obviously common to everyone, which should be a clue.

Are all these machines on the same LAN? Could there be a misbehaving machine or device causing them all to have problems? Are they all running the same version of the OS? Do they all exhibit the same freezes and crashes with the same frequency and randomness?

Did you upgrade all the machines with the same RAM? Bad RAM will certainly cause these sorts of problems. Maybe you got a bad batch.

I'm at a loss. This makes no sense. Either you're skipping over some key evidence or you're whitewashing the symptoms. I don't really see how a dozen different Macs could all be misbehaving so badly for so long without someone doing some root cause analysis.

I understand your frustration, man, but settle down and do some critical thinking here.

Do all these Macs have the same software on them? Could it be that you all are using a bad/old/incompatible version of an application that's causing this problem? Could you have a virus?

Is there anything you can do with will always crash or freeze the system? Can you force the problem to happen?

I think you're going to have to take a scientific approach here. Take one of your Macs, remove it from the network, wipe the drive and completely reinstall the OS. Play around with it for a bit, try to force the error. Then install one key application at a time, each time trying to force the system to crash/freeze. If you get all your apps on and can't make it crash, then hook it up to the LAN and try that.

You get the idea. You need to control your variables and introduce one new thing at a time until you can determine which new thing is causing the problem.

There may actually be multiple things causing this, but you can at least start with the hope that it's just one.

Finally, make sure you've got the latest versions and patches of all your software.

As for upgrading everyone to OS X, I believe the Xserve's come with unlimited client licenses. If you have need of an OS X server, you can upgrade all your other machines "for free" if you can swallow the cost of a single server ($3000?).
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 14, 2003, 08:53 PM
 
DUDE! LOL!

At the current moment, it's MY computer that's crashing. It's been doing it off and on for the 3 years that I've been there. It's VERY hard to tell you exactly how things have progressed with computers in our work area.

First of all, the first computer I was using got transfered to another user and I got a new one. Then that new one got moved to another person and another new one got purchased. We (my dept.) have 3 macs.
1. The one I'm using Beige G4 (OS9.0)
2. Brand new (dual processor) (minor problems with hers)an occasional freeze here and there. (OS 9.2.2) Had probs too but got fixed! CD Drive. no biggie
3. Another G4 Tower a little faster than mine. Which went through its crises of problems needing a new hd (still under warranty) probs fixed there. (OS 9.2)

We all run the same software apps. We all have different OS platforms No X's tho. Due to the nature of the purchases of these two computers, it came equipped with what it came equipped with.

I'm stuck with the oldest computer in our department. (1 1/2 yr old) We cannot purchase and/or upgrade anything. It's like driving a thorn in the Boss's side just to get another HD for our server. She will hear NOTHING of it.

All other computers I speak of are in the editorial department. They don't "bang" on them like we do in the graphics department. They don't have problems like we do either. SLOW but they don't have issues as much since they really only use one app.

Right now the issue is the current mac that I"M on. Yes, I've had these same problems in the past. Some days (knock on wood) I'll run like a charm and not crash once. Other days it will be like today, crash after crash after crash. So on good days, I think all is fine.
Who knows, tomorrow I could run with no problems!

>>Take one of your Macs, remove it from the network, wipe the drive and completely reinstall the OS. Play around with it for a bit, try to force the error. Then install one key application at a time, each time trying to force the system to crash/freeze. If you get all your apps on and can't make it crash, then hook it up to the LAN and try that.<<
Wanna pay me the OT to do this?
We are a small non-profit newspaper. There are only 3 graphic designers/4 Sales reps with 4 DIFFERENT papers to put together. Now, take that scientific approach and figure out if I can stop what I'm doing and do this. I build anywhere from 50 to 75 ads in a week. I'm flat out. I can't be without a computer and we have YET to get our boss to buy us a back up for such cases as this.

That's why I searched out a forum to try and find a LITTLE guidance in what may be the problem so that we can tell our tech, cuz he sure as hell can't figure it out either. But since someone spoke of a graphics card, I'm taking that approach.

Cheers DUDE!
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mark9939
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Apr 14, 2003, 09:09 PM
 
nice answer! Very professional...

And for my response to that? Don't answer if you DON'T know.



Calm down, everyone's just trying to help. We're all polite on these forums.

I too would also reccomend OS X, try to save up some funds. However it may be a RAM issue, so try putting a reliable DIMM (Ex: Crucial) in there.
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Thinine
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Apr 14, 2003, 09:17 PM
 
First off, there is no Beige G4, so you've either got an upgraded beige G3 or a first generation G4. Like the people have said, cut down on extensions update all the software, and get rid of anything you don't need. Oh, and virtual memory in 9 sucks. Just set it to minimum (but make sure its one) unless you really need to have more. Also, you may want to get more memory anyway.
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 14, 2003, 09:19 PM
 
Added ram already - beginning of the year, I'm maxed out. I can open more than one app now! whoopdeedoo!
But doesn't solve the problem.

Upgrading to "X" is NOT an option HELLO? Did you not read the posts?
If we ever do, OSXII will be out! And I will have probably quit my job by then and be working on a PC.
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If all else fails.. buy a PC!
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 14, 2003, 09:21 PM
 
Nuff said, I got my LEAD from WWWORRY.

Thank you wwworry!
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kndonlee
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Apr 15, 2003, 12:36 AM
 
Mac os 9 has problems dealing with multicast and broadcast traffic. They like to freeze up when that happens.

Also, dust is a biiiiig killer for any computer, so one the more troublesom computers, maybe you could open one of the suckers out and just give it a nice blow.

Quark 4.11 may have issues with the latest versions of os 9... Try using os 9.1 instead of 9.2.2 as a last resort.

Turn Virtual Memory off, it sux in os9... also on mac os 9, ram leaking will get much more severe if applications are opened and closed not in order. What i'm saying is that a system will be more buggy if lets say you open

IE > Quark > Photoshop > Quit IE > Quit Photoshop> open MS Word

What you'd wanna do is: IE > Quark > Photoshop > quit photo > quit quark > open word > Quit word > open quark....

just gotta follow the revese order for opening and closing apps... ugh.. isn't that disgusting? just os9's bad memory management.

Also computers in general if they are near a subway seem to have reportedly had problems as you have been saying because of the magnetic field...

ahhh, get rid of IE! It caues so many crashes in os9.. one of the best ways to get IE to be a litle more stable is to take the microsoft extensions and put them in the IE folder so that those mS extensions are loaded during IEs startup... same with office.

As for extensions, when having the MacOS All set it should be pretty stable. Hacking utitlies that change the theme and do cursors and stuff are just asking for trouble. Also the menu extras like from AIM are always a little bit buggy.

Also my imac when overclocked started crashing left and right just like your macs, just freezing up. This is most likely cuz the proc and the cache gets too hot. get guagepro and check out the proc temps. Under intense usage the temp should not go over 50 Celcius and around idle it should be at around mid 40s. If proc temp is above this, then it's probably a bit hot and maybe an indication to put up the airconditioning.

If you guys don't need appletalk, turn that off. Appletalk over TCP/IP works much better. Printer drivers are probably a must, so having multiple versions can also cause conflicts...

If you have a windows server runing apple shares, for network storage, that's blech! definitely gotta get a powermac running appleshare IP.

btw, the new powermacs would come with os 10.2 so you could use some of them for jag, eh? Or is there no photoshop 7, and the carbonized vesions? if not, sorry for asking.

going back to the network, reasons i said to disable appletalk is that it is very chatty.. just like IPX and would cause lotsa broadcas traffic... atrocious to os9 comps.. i mean they can handle it, but sometimes not very well...

anywyas.. hope i'vebeen of some assistance.

wish you have better luck with the macs,
     
Mohammed Al-Sabah
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Apr 15, 2003, 01:39 AM
 
Originally posted by Zoom:
Dude, that's nuts. You're telling me that all of your Macs are doing this and have been doing this for years?? I'm having a little trouble swallowing this. Any chance you're exaggerating a bit here? If all these machines are exhibiting this behavior, then the problem is obviously common to everyone, which should be a clue.

Are all these machines on the same LAN? Could there be a misbehaving machine or device causing them all to have problems? Are they all running the same version of the OS? Do they all exhibit the same freezes and crashes with the same frequency and randomness?

Did you upgrade all the machines with the same RAM? Bad RAM will certainly cause these sorts of problems. Maybe you got a bad batch.

I'm at a loss. This makes no sense. Either you're skipping over some key evidence or you're whitewashing the symptoms. I don't really see how a dozen different Macs could all be misbehaving so badly for so long without someone doing some root cause analysis.

I understand your frustration, man, but settle down and do some critical thinking here.

Do all these Macs have the same software on them? Could it be that you all are using a bad/old/incompatible version of an application that's causing this problem? Could you have a virus?

Is there anything you can do with will always crash or freeze the system? Can you force the problem to happen?

I think you're going to have to take a scientific approach here. Take one of your Macs, remove it from the network, wipe the drive and completely reinstall the OS. Play around with it for a bit, try to force the error. Then install one key application at a time, each time trying to force the system to crash/freeze. If you get all your apps on and can't make it crash, then hook it up to the LAN and try that.

You get the idea. You need to control your variables and introduce one new thing at a time until you can determine which new thing is causing the problem.

There may actually be multiple things causing this, but you can at least start with the hope that it's just one.

Finally, make sure you've got the latest versions and patches of all your software.

As for upgrading everyone to OS X, I believe the Xserve's come with unlimited client licenses. If you have need of an OS X server, you can upgrade all your other machines "for free" if you can swallow the cost of a single server ($3000?).

i think this is the best answer i heard in here!

plus upgrade to OSX
     
mavster
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Apr 15, 2003, 01:50 AM
 
sometimes zapping the pram will do the trick..

restart the machine while holding down the command, option, p and r keys at the same time.. when you hear the startup chime, let go..
     
Hi I'm Ben
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Apr 15, 2003, 01:07 PM
 
Originally posted by Mohammed Al-Sabah:
i think this is the best answer i heard in here!

plus upgrade to OSX
i personally think his answer is worthless.

oh and upgrade to OS X?
hmm

How many times did you miss the fact that he said he doesn't have enough money to do that?

OS X is slow anyway. I bet his computers run much smoother on OS 9.
     
Leonard
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Apr 15, 2003, 02:29 PM
 
I think I'd have to agree with zoom and kndonlee.

It's gonna be hard debugging this problem if it's been happening for awhile, and it could be anything.

- bad RAM
- network problems - networks seem cause slowdowns in Macs in MacOS 9
- Norton Utilities - Norton's background processes such as filesaver, crashguard, and antivirus are famous for causing problems. If you have these installed, get them out.
- IE - internet browsers cause lots of problems in MacOS 9.
- Running out of RAM - you have RAM hungry applications like IE, Photoshop and Quark. I've assumed you've upped their RAM allocation by at least 3 times. You could use more physical RAM. At least 512MB, but I think you did say you don't have the money, or that you maxed the RAM in this machine. This would explain the "out of memory" error. An application is hitting it's allocation or all your apps that you have open is hitting the max of your memory. Also as kndonlee, said, you may be getting memory fragmentation.

I guess, the best is to follow kndonlee's advice. I'd try getting one machine of the network for awhile and see if that solves some freezes. You have to isolate what's causing the freezes and it's a little hard to isolate it when it's been happening forever.
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aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 15, 2003, 02:54 PM
 
Well, I'm gonna have to agree that we do have Norton everything on our systems. I hate them but because we are all networked we need the precaution.

Today... I have not had one single problem. go figure. Our tech guy came in with a Graphics Card but it wouldn't read my monitor...

(oh by the way... I am woman HEAR ME ROAR!) LOL...

Anyway... while tech guy was in machine, I noticed 4 slots for memory... so I DO have one more open slot. And I'm currently at 512, with option for one more stick. My mistake, thought I was at 256. So I'm still lost on why I get "out of memory" errors.

Our boss is letting us get another HD for our server since we are maxed out on Gigs and storage is becoming very slim. Our server is slightly more important at the moment since it's what holds client ads/graphics/editorial stuff and more.

I know that a majority of our problems could be our network and/or server but when things happen to only one computer, it's different. Other days it's a multitude of us or the computers seem to "take turns" being pains.

IE is hardly ever open unless I'm idle with work, I'll jump on and check my email.. other than that it's not open.
Yes, we are graphic app heavy. Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flightcheck, etc. But I only have Quark, Photoshop and Outlook open. If I use Acrobat I close it immediatley when I'm done.

I wish I could take a machine off the network but that wouldn't help. Everything we use to build the ads are on the server. I HAVE to be connected to it in order to access Quark documents and artwork. Our apps are on our own systems, it's the files that are on the servers.

Grin and bare it... then go home and SCREAM!
Soooo... in the mean time, we are bitching and complaining down here until our boss gives in.
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capuchin
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Apr 16, 2003, 05:54 PM
 
Originally posted by aliendezines:
Well, I'm gonna have to agree that we do have Norton everything on our systems. I hate them but because we are all networked we need the precaution.

Today... I have not had one single problem. go figure. Our tech guy came in with a Graphics Card but it wouldn't read my monitor...

(oh by the way... I am woman HEAR ME ROAR!) LOL...

Anyway... while tech guy was in machine, I noticed 4 slots for memory... so I DO have one more open slot. And I'm currently at 512, with option for one more stick. My mistake, thought I was at 256. So I'm still lost on why I get "out of memory" errors.

Our boss is letting us get another HD for our server since we are maxed out on Gigs and storage is becoming very slim. Our server is slightly more important at the moment since it's what holds client ads/graphics/editorial stuff and more.

I know that a majority of our problems could be our network and/or server but when things happen to only one computer, it's different. Other days it's a multitude of us or the computers seem to "take turns" being pains.

IE is hardly ever open unless I'm idle with work, I'll jump on and check my email.. other than that it's not open.
Yes, we are graphic app heavy. Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flightcheck, etc. But I only have Quark, Photoshop and Outlook open. If I use Acrobat I close it immediatley when I'm done.

I wish I could take a machine off the network but that wouldn't help. Everything we use to build the ads are on the server. I HAVE to be connected to it in order to access Quark documents and artwork. Our apps are on our own systems, it's the files that are on the servers.

Grin and bare it... then go home and SCREAM!
Soooo... in the mean time, we are bitching and complaining down here until our boss gives in.

Don't think anyone has mentioned this one yet: Check cabling. I admin a graphic design firm (45 G3/G4s, running a mix of OS 9 and OS X off Win2k servers), and saw considerable performance boosts after ripping out the Cat 3 thoughout the office and replacing it with Cat 5. Check the network topography; if possible put everything on the same hub, or better yet, a 10/100 switch.

Other than that, well, I know that Quark is not really designed to run locally and serve files over a network as you describe. Everyone does it though - it's buggy by nature, but by far the best option for keeping project parity.

Turn virtual memory off - there's nothing you're running that will benefit from it - and check how much RAM is allotted to each application. I only use VM for our production boxes - those folks wail on Indesign, which performs significantly better with VM turned on.

Check ATM - if you have Deluxe, trim down the number of fonts to include only the ones you need for a specific job.

Use the basic extension set, with only what is critically needed to be added. No third-party enhancements. Just the basics.

Norton. Everything. Thoroughly. Rinse, repeat with DiskWarrior.

If your servers are NT 4, upgrade to SP5. If they're win2k, upgrade to the latest service pack. If you're on NT4, consider an upgrade to win2k - far better AFP/TCP implementation, more intelligent file handling.

Good luck!
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freakboy2
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Apr 16, 2003, 06:18 PM
 
sometimes if the video card starts acting funny, pulling it out and putting it back can help. I've never figured out if it's because of bad connections or static on the board somewhere or what, but I've had this help on numerous occasions.

I would also not have VM maxxed out. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. OS9 runs fastest if you set the vm to 1 meg over the amount of hardware ram in the machine. IF you need more ram than this, then spend 40 bucks and get yourself some more.

Fb2
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 16, 2003, 06:19 PM
 
WOW... ok, I'll pass that info along to our tech guy. Network and our server stuff is way over my head. The only thing I know of that you mention is the 10/100. That we have....

Our servers are G4 towers (if I'm correct). I KNOW that we have 2 G4's (one is our back up) - the other is our storage.

I believe we just got those 2 computers 2 years ago. I know that this whole networking thing needs a MAJOR overhaul but again, we're looking at big bucks.

Co-workers brand new puter sounds like it's gonna take-off! I froze several times today. Froze twice at start-up. back to back.

I will take your advice on turning VM off. As far as getting a new virus protection program... not my call. And we just asked to get the latest and greatest norton since the other girls computer wouldn't read version "whatever".
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aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 16, 2003, 06:20 PM
 
New graphics card coming... if we can find one.
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leperkuhn
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Apr 16, 2003, 06:55 PM
 
Originally posted by aliendezines:
Added ram already - beginning of the year, I'm maxed out. I can open more than one app now! whoopdeedoo!
But doesn't solve the problem.

Upgrading to "X" is NOT an option HELLO? Did you not read the posts?
If we ever do, OSXII will be out! And I will have probably quit my job by then and be working on a PC.
I installed some RAM which turned out to be bad, and my computer would randomly freeze like you are describing. I mean, completely random. I didn't want to beleive it was the ram, mostly because everything went faster for a while, but when i starting running a few programs everything would screw up. Try taking out the new RAM and see if it crashes.
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 16, 2003, 06:58 PM
 
Well, this week we are in kaos since we are trying to put out 4 papers and a special section. Can't fiddle with anything until all calms down. Probably by the end of next week we can start working on the issues.

Now... if I can remember which slot I put the new ram in....
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11011001
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Apr 17, 2003, 12:35 AM
 
Your using quark right?

There isn't an OS X version of that yet anyways.. (am I right, ppl?) don't know if it runs in classic, if it did though it would be slow.. on top of the already slow OS X (on these older machines at least).

Now, don't bite my head off. Mac licensing is not as strict as Microsoft. For people who feel bad about it, you can get a family pack license of OS X, so you can install it on more than one computer. Definetely cheaper than buying a copy of OS X for every computer. OS X will not be brought down by memeory leeks, which is one of the biggest reasons for OS 9 crashing. But Quark isn't native in it, so this talk about OS X is probably pointless.

And yup, OS 9 is definetely frustrating at times. Try being a programmer trying to debug a memory leak on it, and then you'll know pain.. geeze, I probably spent more time rebooting then I did programming back in 9.

Nothing helpful here, sorry about that, but thought I might tell you a little more about the option of X, why it might be useful, cost, and of course why you probably don't need it.
     
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Apr 17, 2003, 01:00 AM
 
Ok, I will splurge on this one:

OS X reasoning: OS 9 is a real Piece of S***, worse than windows 98 in my opinion, (though equal to xp ).

However we all know it's not an option even though that brand new powermac has an os x cd you could always try to use

Now I hear norton this norton that, if you have any background crap running (scanners, memory checkers, etc) GET RID OF IT! They are a waste of time and money. Frankly, I don't know why anyone bothers with that stuff anyway

So... That leaves us down to making OS 9 work a little smoother, good luck man as the last time I ran a lab I remember getting fedup, demanding from our school they upgrade their machines to X or I'd leave (and they didn't really like that as then theyd' need to pay a techand OS X was cheaper this way lol)..

Why does OS 9 suck? Whenever you force quit something the system freezes lol.
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aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 17, 2003, 07:18 AM
 
When I first started working there, I was using 0s8.5. I don't ever recall having any problems as severe as I do now. I did eventually lose my hd, got a new one then ended up buying a new computer and passed my old one off to an editor. We ended up upgrading due to application upgrades.

I'm currently using 9.0.2 for my OS. I had heard that 9.2 has a lot of bugs. We have 2 machines using 9.2.2 (which I'm assuming is the fix for 9.2). Reason for those computers and not mine is because one of the puters is about 5 months old (which came with X installed booted to 9.2.2.) And the other one just got fixed with the a new hd and a clean reinstall of os system.

And yes, we can't go to X without upgrading all our apps. (More cost!)We use ATM 4.6, I hear X doesn't support that. We don't need all the bells and whistles that X comes with. We don't need the eyecandy either.

The only thing that we can do is keep pressuring our boss to DO something. But she just doesn't see any more computer "upgrades" in the future. And like I said from an earlier post, by the time we can a totally new OS will be out.
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chris v
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Apr 17, 2003, 08:20 AM
 
I was going to respond last night, but got too busy.

What you need is a plan. A professional shop with multiple machines has to have some sort of system in place for maintaining/troubleshooting/repairing machines, and it sounds like you all are pretty seat-of-the-pants.

First off-- Tools. Norton is okay for troubleshoting, but it's far from being a one-stop solution. Any Mac Sys. Admin. worth his salt will have DiskWarrior and Tech Tool Pro CDs in his bag of tricks as well.

Tech Tool is great for analyzing hardware, and has disk formatting and file recovery options as well as a whole battery of hardware tests, like video, RAM, etc. It also has a superior desktop rebuilding scheme.

DiskWarrior is a directory maintenance program, and while Tech Tool and Norton offer some amount of directory maintenance, neither do the job as well as diskWarrior. It's a one-trick pony, but it does its trick superbly.

That said, the It manager/Sys. Admin. has to have a plan. I manage 4 Macs in a fast-turnaround print shop, and here's my thoughts on that. My thinking is 2 pronged:

1. Maintenence and prevention

I maintain a (somewhat haphazard) schedule of back-up and repair that goes lke this: After ANY system or OS install or upgrade, the very first thing to do is rebuild the directories with Disk Warrior, so they're clean from the start.

Immediately back-up that clean system and all associated applications so that you have them handy in event of disaster recovery.
I used to use CD's but have since moved on to a dual-hard drive scheme. Drive 2 is an exact mirror of drive one. Each drive has 2 partitions, 1 for the system and applications,and one for file storage. This makes disaster recovery simpler, and less likely, as a partition with nothing on it but user files is far less likely to suffer the kind of directory corruption that will lead to data loss.

Use an automatic back-up program to copy user files from disk 1 to disk 2 nightly.

Run DiskWarrior at least monthly. Run Tech Tool monthly, being sure to run its rebuild desktop routine.

Keep your system and app backups current, on a more or less monthly basis.

2. Disaster recovery.

DiskWarrior can often resuscitate what seems like a dead hard drive. It's the first option if disaster strikes. what often seems like lost data is at second glance, merely corrupted directories, and once rebuilt, your files will be right back where they were.

However, if a hard drive goes south, a dual-drive setup has you back up and running in as long as it takes to boot your machine from the second drive. If the drive is okay, but data or system is unrecoverable, it's a relatively quick task to boot from disk 2, wipe the offending partition, and drag and drop your install from disk 2 to back to disk 1. If your user files are on a separate partition, you can do this with relative peace-of-mind.

That's it in a nutshell.

In your specific case, I'd say you've either got bad RAM or some type of directory corruption that Norton has been unable to identify and fix.

Short-term ideas that might help you immediately, while that DiskWarrior CD is in transit.

Rebuild the desktop-- restart holding down command+option, then follow the on-screen instructions once it boots. This will take maybe 10-15 minutes.

Pull RAM (sounds like you're working on this) one chip at a time, to isolate the offending chip.

Reset PRAM--restart holding down command+option+p+r until you hear the chime 3 times, then let go and let it finish booting.

Delete the Finder preferences and restart.

HTH,

CV
( Last edited by chris v; Apr 17, 2003 at 08:26 AM. )

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purplenerple
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Apr 17, 2003, 09:44 AM
 
K, I'm aliendezines IT/Systems Admin person. Unfortunately Mac literate through force. Like her, I'm a PC person soooo, learning as I go.

chris V - good thought. That's how we have our servers set up. Running 2 G4's one for mirroring with constant backups going via tape drive. (Unfortunately, that's the best I've got right now). Will look into costs of disk warrior and tech tools...seems like a worthwile spenditure if it'll help reduce tech guy costs. Nothing on individual designer mac other than apps as we're all sharing files off the server. What a mess if worked on individual hard drives, don't see that as a possibility. We're only a 3 person team. Right now, not running any kind of backups on individual hd's as it's pretty empty except apps, and those are easy enough to reload. I actually had her computer to begin with. Loved it. Sometimes, I think she's a ginx LOL Agree with the Ram stick, we'll try that. What's your thoughts on the graphics card? I have her rebuild desktop all the time, doesn't seem to help much to the naked eye. As far as the PRam...tried this several times before on different systems, can't seem to really make it work. Usually crashes the system. Will try again though, thanks for the reminder of shortcuts. Been trashing memory prefs, and system prefs but never thought of finder prefs... good thought.

Was told by tech guy to keep Norton Virus in the background for system protection while on DSL. How else would I maintain virus protection?

As for OSX...problem is, waiting for new Quark, and huge expense on that end with 25 licenses required, worried about conflicts if not doing a complete upgrade. Also ATM isn't supported so nother expense for suitcase...But doesn't seem wise since as Aliendezines mentions that editorial isn't having problems. Editorial isn't well versed and introducing something that looks so different would only make my life HELL! Some people just can't accept change. Too many personalities to deal with.

As far as networking all on 10/100 into a hub. 2 hubs. All Cat 5 cabling. Mirrored G4's running 9.1. 2 different hds, one 40 GB for production, one 40 GB for editorial. 120GB on the way additional for production. Tech guy suggested running couple more network cards to server to allow faster transfer and less clogging. What are your thoughts on this? Mine's the new machine with new HD. Had 9.2.2. only installed, got rid of X in the background as always booted in classic and the apps situation....seems to be the key. Conflicts with running in classic perhaps?

Will try all your tips on Aliendezines machine, that's for the direction, it's a place to start.

Will let you know how it all works. Thanks guys!
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chris v
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Apr 17, 2003, 10:55 AM
 
Originally posted by purplenerple:
K

How else would I maintain virus protection?


Delete Outlook and switch to Eudora?

The only known virii you can get on a Mac are the Outlook macro remailer variety.

CV

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 17, 2003, 01:34 PM
 
We were using Eudora a long time ago. Hated it, very cumbersome. Has it been updated and are you saying that it has built in virus protection?

On another note, wondering if half my problem is a dying battery. I'm noticing on some restarts my clock is very off. Any thoughts on this?
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awcopus
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Apr 18, 2003, 02:46 AM
 
I think the root of the "out of memory" error is that you've maxed out your virtual RAM. Set it to 1MB greater than your actual installed amount. And, in the Get Info box for Quark and Photoshop, double the amount of RAM these apps use).

Make sure you've got quality RAM from a vendor like Micron (Crucial.com). Bad RAM is a frequent culprit for the behavior you describe.

Since you have the benefit of having all of your critical files on a server, I would follow advice of others here and completely wipe your hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch, including new RAM (so cheap now, why not).

I have one Quicksilver that I keep running in OS 9 for Quarking (everything else is in X) and it runs very smoothly. Keep extensions to the minimum. All you need is Quicktime and ATM (4.6, I think).

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mrl14
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Apr 18, 2003, 03:14 AM
 
Alien:

You are overreacting here and blaming the mac for everything. Here is a plan I have layed out for you.


1. Backup your important documents
2. Format Drive, Zero all Data, low level
3. Reinstall Mac OS 9, upgrade to 9.2.2 (it's the most stable version of 9)
4. Install Quark, Photoshop, etc and use the machine for a few days. IF problems are gone...great...if not read on.
5. Remove ALL RAM but the stock ram that came with your machine. Repeat step 4.
6. Remove all hard drives BUT the original one, repeat step 4

If your mac crashes with its original hardware in tact, then you have a hardware issue. I can tell you that hardware issues can be very hard to diagnose and tricky. In addition, apple and apple dealers will always push for a software or ram problem. Do not let them control the situation here. They take you through bogus situations that are a waste a time, if you've already been through them.

I had a dual machine that never crashed in 9, but crashed on os X with 10 minutes. Apple claimed it was RAM or a 3rd party hardware. So we did what apple wanted to show them it wasn't that (because it still crashed). I told Apple it was the processors since 9 doesn't make use of MP, but X does. So finally, I got apple to swap out the processors...problem solved...smooth sailing since.

Anyways...hope that helps.
P.S. You guys should consider hiring or outsourcing your mac tech work to someone with extensive mac knowledge, because you r company is wasting to much time dealing with an issue that should have been resolved in 1-2 weeks.
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aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 18, 2003, 06:54 AM
 
6. Remove all hard drives BUT the original one, repeat step 4

I only have one hard drive in my puter... how many do you think I have?

VM has been toned down - It's currently at 513 (1 over)

AWCOPUS: I've upped the ram on my apps but I'll double check it when I get to work and up it more if I need to.

Will look into upgrading to the final os9 today.

I can't help blaming the mac for everything but when my coworker gets a brand new machine with a dual processor, and freezes the first day she has it? Yeah, I'll blame the mac. Told you I'm a PC user. My computer at home has been up and running for over 2 weeks without as much as a hiccup. Have the same apps on it as I do at work. WITH other added fun stuff (eyecandy if you will).

Believe me, I was raised on a Mac and swore by them... now i swear AT them.
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purplenerple
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Apr 18, 2003, 09:21 AM
 
I would LOVE to get a Mac literate tech guy in here but where do you find them???? All the ones I've come across charge $200/hr. That's outrageous! I had come to the conclusion that there just aren't any out there. I'm looking into apple training so that I wouldn't have to waste so much time on these problems but can't seem to find any training other than the cd's that I've been told aren't really all that much help. Any suggestions out there?
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aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 18, 2003, 10:18 AM
 
Well, I got as far as upgrading to 9.1
I tried to upgrade to 9.2.2 but got error message saying that
"this version cannot be instlled over localized version of Mac OS, choose a different disk or perform clean install."

Soooo what does that mean? I really don't want to wipe my drive for a clean install. It's an all day task reinstalling all the software and reloading fonts etc. OUCH! there goes my day.
Is there an update to 9.1 that will then allow me to upgrade to 9.2?
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wwworry
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Apr 18, 2003, 11:28 AM
 
Originally posted by aliendezines:
I can't help blaming the mac for everything but when my coworker gets a brand new machine with a dual processor, and freezes the first day she has it? Yeah, I'll blame the mac. Told you I'm a PC user. My computer at home has been up and running for over 2 weeks without as much as a hiccup. Have the same apps on it as I do at work. WITH other added fun stuff (eyecandy if you will).

Believe me, I was raised on a Mac and swore by them... now i swear AT them.
If the new mac freezes as much as the older ones I would say it is definitly a network problem. Really they all should not freeze all of the time.

You said you were networked through hubs (I think). Switches are better than hubs and I do not think they cost very much.

A simple test for networking problems might be to take a buggy machine off the network, perhaps only connecting for file transfers or better yet, use a removable disk for file transfers. Then see if that machine or the others has any change in performance. You will also have to delete aliases from the "recent servers" folder in the apple menu from the newly non-networked machine. If you do not do this it will spend time looking for servers.

If you do not have the cash for OS X licences you probaly do not have it for tech tool, disc warrior, hard drives etc. This seems to me to be the simplest cheapest fastest way to check for network problems. It is quite normal for departments to be strapped for cash.
     
jwblase
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Apr 18, 2003, 11:52 AM
 
For what it's worth, the two main freeze causes I ever had in my years with Classic Mac OS 8-9.2.2:

Norton anything: Norton extensions play hell, especially if you happen to have CrashGuard installed. I found that they just don't play nice.

RAM problems. What may seem like good RAM one day might be bad RAM the next. I've even found that TechTools doesn't do the FULL workup on RAM chips. (I had a chip that tested good, and then I put it in a PC and a friend ran her pro tools on it, and sure enough, it tested faulty.) Try replacing the RAM, or at least taking the chips out one at a time to see if they work.

JB
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mrl14
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Apr 18, 2003, 05:50 PM
 
Originally posted by purplenerple:
I would LOVE to get a Mac literate tech guy in here but where do you find them???? All the ones I've come across charge $200/hr. That's outrageous! I had come to the conclusion that there just aren't any out there. I'm looking into apple training so that I wouldn't have to waste so much time on these problems but can't seem to find any training other than the cd's that I've been told aren't really all that much help. Any suggestions out there?
I'd be glad to give you mac support for $30/hr CDN =)
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mrl14
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Apr 18, 2003, 05:53 PM
 
Originally posted by aliendezines:
Well, I got as far as upgrading to 9.1
I tried to upgrade to 9.2.2 but got error message saying that
"this version cannot be instlled over localized version of Mac OS, choose a different disk or perform clean install."

Soooo what does that mean? I really don't want to wipe my drive for a clean install. It's an all day task reinstalling all the software and reloading fonts etc. OUCH! there goes my day.
Is there an update to 9.1 that will then allow me to upgrade to 9.2?
Have you wiped your drive clean and done a clean install? I'm' juist curious cuz I haven't seen that mentioned.

anyhow, you are having hardware issues, not software issues. Being on a network isn't going to cause you to crash every few minutes UNLESS YOU are mounting drives on your computer (if you are, remove all these networked drives and run the machine as is without em).

I still dont' get why you haven't sent this to apple? The time wasted here could have been paid to apple if it was a software issue.

Nonetheless, I was in charge of upgrading a newspaper office from 603/604 processors to G4 867s. They are all running OS 9, networked, all fine and dandy.

OS 9 is not a bad OS, and it'll be another 6 months before printing press can upgrade to X. If you want ship your machine to me i'll fix it for ya.
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kndonlee
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Apr 19, 2003, 12:33 PM
 
To sum up everything..


- Norton Virus/Utilities sucks. Don't use it, just asking for problems. If you have to use it, turn off the norton control panels extensions and scheduling for everything.

- Diskwarrior is best disk repair utility!

- Techtool best maintenance tool for Mac!

- Gotta run MacOS with minimum extensions

- As much as the ram issue is posted here, I doubt that there are batches of machines with bad ram. Personally, I'd

- Get rid of that hub! Get a switch if possible. Network performance will get better and the OS9 machines won't be bombarded with packets galore bringing them down. I will put my money on a lot of the crashing being caused by network traffic!

- When taking a machine off the network, delete aliases to the servers... It'll cause the machine to hang.

- If all you're using is quark, and outlook, and have 512 mb ram, just turn off Virtual Memory!

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kndonlee
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Apr 19, 2003, 12:37 PM
 
Quote

"this version cannot be instlled over localized version of Mac OS, choose a different disk or perform clean install."


Localized? no U.S versions of Mac OS? Umm.. goto

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75186

You['ll find all the various countries updaters... Find the appropriate one and update! Btw, i think you need to have 9.2.1 installed b4 updating to 9.2.2
     
aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 19, 2003, 12:41 PM
 
Yeah, my mistake on downloading. Got the right one downloaded (took 2 hours!) Won't be able to install til monday.
Downloaded both 9.2.1 and 9.2.2 the RIGHT versions.

Will pass the network problem onto tech guy on Monday (unless he reads these posts)and see what he has to say about it.
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chicken_tastes_good
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Apr 19, 2003, 09:44 PM
 
I recently helped an OS 9 Quark friend (home based business) through a bout of what you're going through. Very random crashes - completely inexplicable. For him, it turned out to be a bad RAM module. He found an app that would check the RAM, and it said it was all ok, but not being convinced he spent the time necessary to try all the combinations of memory and discovered that his recently added 256 MB was the problem.

So 1, do please check out all your RAM. Do this before checking graphics cards, hard drives, powersupplies, reformatting. Its a rather common problem as there is lots of cheap, sub-standard RAM around, and its also very easy to damage good RAM due to poor handling procedures (not being grounded, etc).

And 2, it has been mentioned but not in the clarity I feel you need.

REMOVE ALL EVIDENCE, TRACE, EXTENSION, and even the MEMORY of needing or using ANY Norton tool on your machine. SystemTools, booting from the CD, can very rarely improve a situation. Other than that, you don't need anything with Norton involved.

Worried about virus protection? Don't be. Whether you run Outlook or not, whether you are connected via DSL, cable, a T1, dialup, and even if you worked in a Windows environment (with your Mac) you have absolutely NO need for Virus software on your Mac. Even the Email Macro viri don't affect a Mac (unless you configure it manually to automatically run all VB scripts). OK, so Virex, and the Norton Virus piece of crap aren't needed. I've run all my macs (6 in my house) for the past 7 years with NO protection, downloading anything and everything from anywhere, and the worst thing I ran into was an applescript that tried to move everything to the trash (but it didn't succeed).

So given that you came to these boards for help I would hope that you would take OUR advice over your local (prolly win-centric) tech person and:

Remove any an all traces of Norton products (filesaver, virus, everything)

and

Verify that one of your RAM modules isn't the problem.


OK?
You seem to have ignored the advice to get rid over Norton mentioned earlier, so please do it now.
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aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 19, 2003, 10:10 PM
 
I appreciate your advice however, I don't have the authority to just REMOVE norton. It's not my call. It's not MY computer. The computer belongs to the business.
ALL the computers in our business have norton installed - even the servers. I will have to take it up with my systems manager and/or her boss. And to try and convince one or both to rid norton will NOT be an easy task.
Our tech guy may be coming in on Monday morning to check things out. I have already mentioned this forum and thread to him and he was suppose to check it out over the weekend.
Will have to wait til Monday for final prognosis.
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mrl14
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Apr 19, 2003, 10:10 PM
 
Why are all you people bitching about Norton. There is nothing wrong with it.

Now if you have filesaver extensions then maybe it can cause issues, but norton can come in very handy in 9.

What alien should be doing, is install a fresh copy of 9 and work from that without adding anything extra.
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aliendezines  (op)
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Apr 19, 2003, 10:12 PM
 
I have norton 2003 on my PC at home... Has caught many viruses coming through email. I have NO problems with Norton. But then again, I have a PC and not a Mac.
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mrl14
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Apr 19, 2003, 10:23 PM
 
Originally posted by aliendezines:
I have norton 2003 on my PC at home... Has caught many viruses coming through email. I have NO problems with Norton. But then again, I have a PC and not a Mac.
Norton for mac and pc are very different.

If you're on a mac, you don't need Norton AntiVirus, unless you get a lot of Office documents and are afraid of Macro viruses.

Now on the mac you might want to keep norton around. Don't listen to everywhere, they are just used to OS X where you don't want to be using Norton. However, be careful of Filesaver, as its extensions can cause your issues.

Next off, I'd recommend installing conflict catcher and disabling some extensions that you don't need so you can test your system out. You can also run a check in Conflict Catcher to check for damanged resource forks in your system folder, which could be the cause. Maybe you also have a damaged font. Who knows.

My guess though is its a RAM issue. Maybe take out the ram and put in ram from another working machine for a week.
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